Elisabeth Anne Lloyd

Elisabeth Anne Lloyd
Indiana University Bloomington | IUB · Department of Biology

BA, Summa, CUBoulder, PhD Princeton Philosophy

About

101
Publications
115,884
Reads
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3,562
Citations
Citations since 2017
26 Research Items
2036 Citations
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Introduction
Elisabeth Anne Lloyd currently works at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine, and Adjunct in both Philosophy and Biology, Indiana University Bloomington. Elisabeth does research in Evolutionary Biology, Sexology, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Climate Science, and Evolutionary Psychology. Her current project is 'The Logic of Research Questions,' in a couple of scientific contexts.
Additional affiliations
August 1998 - present
Indiana University Bloomington
Position
  • Arnold & Maxine Tanis Chair of History and philosophy of Science
August 1988 - May 1999
University of California, Berkeley
Position
  • Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor
August 1984 - August 1988
University of California, San Diego
Position
  • Assistant professor, 1985-1988 and visiting lecturer 1984-1985

Publications

Publications (101)
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we consider some questions surrounding whether or not regional climate models “add value,” a controversial issue in climate science today. We highlight some objections frequently made about regional climate models both within and outside the community of modelers, including several claims that regional climate models do not “add value...
Article
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Within the climate science community, useable climate science has been understood as quantitative, usually as a best estimate together with a quantified uncertainty. Physical scientists are trained to produce numbers and to draw general, abstract conclusions. In general, however, people relate much better to stories and to events they have experien...
Article
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In a recent very influential court case, Juliana v. United States, climate scientist Kevin Trenberth used the “storyline” approach to extreme event attribution to argue that greenhouse warming had affected and will affect extreme events in their regions to such an extent that the plaintiffs already had been or will be harmed. The storyline approach...
Article
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Standards of proof for attributing real world events/damage to global warming should be the same as in clinical or environmental lawsuits, argue Lloyd et al. The central question that we raise is effective communication. How can climate scientists best and effectively communicate their findings to crucial non-expert audiences, including public poli...
Article
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In our discussion of environmental and ecological catastrophes or disasters resulting from extreme weather events, we unite disparate literatures, the biological and the physical. Our goal is to tie together biological understandings of extreme environmental events with physical understandings of extreme weather events into joint causal accounts. T...
Article
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We start by reviewing the complicated situation in methods of scientific attribution of climate change to extreme weather events. We emphasize the social values involved in using both so-called ``storyline'' and ordinary probabilistic or ``risk-based'' methods, noting that one important virtue claimed by the storyline approach is that it features a...
Article
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We address the controversy in the literature concerning the definition of holobionts and the apparent constraints on their evolution using concepts from community population genetics. The genetics of holobionts, consisting of a host and diverse microbial symbionts, has been neglected in many discussions of the topic, and, where it has been discusse...
Article
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Most women report reliably experiencing orgasm from masturbation, but a smaller proportion of women report regularly experiencing orgasm from intercourse. Research suggests that concurrent clitoral stimulation during intercourse increases the likelihood of orgasm, yet most surveys of orgasm during intercourse leave unspecified whether vaginal inter...
Chapter
Climate scientists have been engaged in a decades-long debate over the standing of satellite measurements of the temperature trends of the atmosphere above the surface of the earth. This is especially significant because skeptics of global warming and the greenhouse effect have utilized this debate to spread doubt about global climate models used t...
Chapter
In this brief chapter, Lloyd sets the stage for the following three papers, most centrally, Santer et al. (2008a), which discusses whether the satellite data fit with climate models. Its target is a paper by Douglass et al. (Douglass DH, Christy JR, Pearson BD, Singer SF, A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions. Int J Cli...
Article
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The most common approaches to detection and attribution of extreme weather events using FAR or RR (Fraction of Attributable Risk or Risk Ratio) answer a particular form of research question, namely, “What is the probability of a certain class of weather events, given global climate change, relative to a world without?” In a set of recent papers, Ke...
Book
This edited collection of works by leading climate scientists and philosophers introduces readers to issues in the foundations, evaluation, confirmation, and application of climate models. It engages with important topics directly affecting public policy, including the role of doubt, the use of satellite data, and the robustness of models. Climate...
Article
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Science strives for coherence. For example, the findings from climate science form a highly coherent body of knowledge that is supported by many independent lines of evidence: greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from human economic activities are causing the global climate to warm and unless GHG emissions are drastically reduced in the near future, the...
Article
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There is a notable gap between heterosexual men and women in frequency of orgasm during sex. Little is known, however, about sexual orientation differences in orgasm frequency. We examined how over 30 different traits or behaviors were associated with frequency of orgasm when sexually intimate during the past month. We analyzed a large US sample of...
Article
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Holobionts, consisting of a host and diverse microbial symbionts, function as distinct biological entities anatomically, metabolically, immunologically, and developmentally. Symbionts can be transmitted from parent to offspring by a variety of vertical and horizontal methods. Holobionts can be considered levels of selection in evolution because the...
Article
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The conventional approach to detecting and attributing climate change impacts on extreme weather events is generally based on frequentist statistical inference wherein a null hypothesis of no influence is assumed, and the alternative hypothesis of an influence is accepted only when the null hypothesis can be rejected at a sufficiently high (e.g., 9...
Chapter
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Evolutionary theory may be understood as a set of overlapping model types, the most prominent of which is the natural selection model, introduced by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. Many of the most prominent models today are represented throughmathematical population genetics, in which genetical representations of populations evolve over...
Article
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Some methodological adaptationists (perhaps unconsciously) hijacked the term “exaptation,” and took an occasion of Stephen Jay Gould’s misspeaking as confirmation that it possessed an evolutionarily “designed” function and was a version of an adaptation, something it was decidedly not. Others provided a standard of evidence for exaptation that was...
Chapter
Using my analysis, I wish to defend several versions of the claim that holobionts can be units of selection. As my colleagues Scott Gilbert, Eugene Rosenberg, and Ilana Zilber-Rosenberg claim in their piece in this volume, the holobiont with its hologenome is a level of selection in evolution, supported by a growing body of data. More specifically,...
Chapter
Abbreviated title: " Holobionts as units of selection " [32 chars] Word count = 8,046 Acknowledgements: I would like to thank the following people for their aid, support, and helpful suggestions while I was writing this chapter: Abstract: Various writers have broached the idea that holobionts may be involved in multilevel selection, but more work i...
Chapter
Full-text available
Abstract: Various writers have broached the idea that holobionts may be involved in multilevel selection, but more work is needed to clarify the possible roles taken by holobionts in this evolutionary process. Elsewhere, the various distinct meanings that " unit of selection " can take on in different contexts have been clarified, from 'interactor'...
Article
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Given the complexity of host-microbiota symbioses, scientists and philosophers are asking questions at new biological levels of hierarchical organization—what is a holobiont and hologenome? When should this vocabulary be applied? Are these concepts a null hypothesis for host-microbe systems or limited to a certain spectrum of symbiotic interactions...
Preprint
Full-text available
Given the complexity of host-microbiota symbioses, scientists and philosophers are asking questions at new biological levels of hierarchical organization - What is a holobiont and hologenome? When should this vocabulary be applied? Are these concepts a null hypothesis for host-microbe systems or limited to a certain spectrum of symbiotic interactio...
Article
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Abstract This article discusses various dangers that accompany the supposedly benign methods in behavioral evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology that fall under the framework of ‘‘methodological adaptationism.’’ A ‘‘Logic of Research Questions’’ is proposed that aids in clarifying the reasoning problems that arise due to the framework un...
Article
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A growing body of evidence has implicated conspiracist ideation in the rejection of scientific propositions. Internet blogs in particular have become the staging ground for conspiracy theories that challenge the link between HIV and AIDS, the benefits of vaccinations, or the reality of climate change. A recent study involving visitors to climate bl...
Chapter
Charles Darwin proposed a general type of natural selection model that could explain a variety of particular cases of adaptation to local environments, once details of organismic traits and selection pressure were inserted. Much of evolutionary theory today, though not all, is represented through mathematical models, especially through the models o...
Article
I propose a distinct type of robustness, which I suggest can support a confirmatory role in scientific reasoning, contrary to the usual philosophical claims. In model robustness, repeated production of the empirically successful model prediction or retrodiction against a background of independently-supported and varying model constructions, within...
Article
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Introduction: Despite recent advances in understanding orgasm variation, little is known about ways in which sexual orientation is associated with men's and women's orgasm occurrence. Aim: To assess orgasm occurrence during sexual activity across sexual orientation categories. Methods: Data were collected by Internet questionnaire from 6,151 m...
Article
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Climate change assessments rely upon scenarios of socioeconomic devel- opments to conceptualize alternative outcomes for global greenhouse gas emissions. These are used in conjunction with climate models to make projections of future climate. Specifically, the estimations of greenhouse gas emissions based on socioeco- nomic scenarios constrain clim...
Chapter
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Stephen J. Gould’s concern for the wide variety of explanations for evolutionary change was one of his chief intellectual contributions. In one of his most famous papers, “The Spandrels of San Marco”, named in honor of Venice’s own most gloried church, and which he co-authored with Richard C. Lewontin, he emphasized the importance of historical, co...
Article
Highlights ► We contest Zietsch & Santtila's (2011, Animal Behaviour, 82, 1097–1101) conclusions for the evolution of female orgasm. ► Zietsch & Santtila used inappropriate comparisons of different orgasmic properties. ► Zietsch & Santtila's analyses relied on linking correlated morphology with correlated function. ► Lack of correlation fully expec...
Article
Climate scientists have been engaged in a decades-long debate over the standing of satellite measurements of the temperature trends of the atmosphere above the surface of the earth. This is especially significant because skeptics of global warming and the greenhouse effect have utilized this debate to spread doubt about global climate models used t...
Article
The principle of having a variety of diverse evidence supporting a climate model or ensemble of models is an important one when gauging our confidence in them. Obtaining observational evidence from a range of different sources that support a theory or model has long been recognized as a virtue among climate scientists, and the most recent IPCC repo...
Article
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We critically examine Denis Walsh’s latest attack on the causalist view of fitness. Relying on Judea Pearl’s Sure-Thing Principle and geneticist John Gillespie’s model for fitness, Walsh has argued that the causal interpretation of fitness results in a reductio. We show that his conclusion only follows from misuse of the models, that is, (1) the di...
Article
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The long-running debates concerning the satellite-based MSU readings of tropospheric temperature trends, especially those in the tropics, involved, among other things, the treatment of radiosonde data as basic or foundational. John Christy, Roy Spencer, and co-authors frequently appealed to the radiosonde data as an independent source of confirming...
Article
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Recent philosophical attention to climate models has highlighted their weaknesses and uncertainties. Here I address the ways that models gain support through observational data. I review examples of model fit, variety of evidence, and independent support for aspects of the models, contrasting my analysis with that of other philosophers. I also inve...
Article
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In men and women sexual arousal culminates in orgasm, with female orgasm solely from sexual intercourse often regarded as a unique feature of human sexuality. However, orgasm from sexual intercourse occurs more reliably in men than in women, likely reflecting the different types of physical stimulation men and women require for orgasm. In men, orga...
Chapter
The field of behavioural phenotypes involves the study of the cognitive and behavioural characteristics associated with genetic syndromes, leading to a fuller understanding of people with syndromes, and permits advances in knowledge regarding both atypical and typical human development. However, behavioural phenotypes offer a number of practical ch...
Article
The fact that multiple global climate models arrive at closely similar results is sometimes claimed and frequently insinuated to imply that the underlying causes or mechanisms of the climate system are fairly well represented in those climate models. This paper examines this common inference from robustness to causes. The use of robust results that...
Article
Today's climate models are supported in a couple of ways that receive little attention from philosophers or climate scientists. In addition to standard ‘model fit’, wherein a model's simulation is compared to observational data, there is an additional type of confirmation available through the variety of instances of model fit. When a model perform...
Article
L'A. presente les problemes et debats scientifiques souleves par l'explication de theories. Il montre sur quoi se fondent les oppositions entre pragmatistes et partisans de l'empirisme constructif ou une conception differente de l'objectivite joue un role essentiel
Article
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Most models of generational succession in sexually reproducing populations necessarily move back and forth between genie and genotypic spaces. We show that transitions between and within these spaces are usually hidden by unstated assumptions about processes in these spaces. We also examine a widely endorsed claim regarding the mathematical equival...
Article
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Humans appear relatively unique among animals in that both males and females can experience orgasm as a result of sexual intercourse. However, orgasm during intercourse occurs much less reliably and consistly for females than for males (Lloyd 2005). The significance of this marked sex difference in sexual function is unexplained and of importance t...
Article
production of the book. The references in these chapters include papers published in 2006. The second set of chapters focuses on the ecological setting for pollination and mating of species. James Cresswell summarizes work on modeling pollinator-mediated gene dispersal, and Monica Geber and David Moeller analyze expected effects of pollinator shari...
Chapter
The theory of evolution by natural selection is, perhaps, the crowning intellectual achievement of the biological sciences. There is, however, considerable debate about which entity or entities are selected and what it is that fits them for that role. In this chapter I aim to clarify what is at issue in these debates by identifying several distinct...
Article
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David Puts and Khytam Dawood's recent critique of my book, The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution, attempts to make plausible an adaptive account of female orgasm based on a hypothesized mechanism of uterine upsuck and sperm competition. Yet the authors fail to respond to the criticisms of such accounts that I detailed prev...
Article
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Since the fundamental challenge that I laid at the doorstep of the pluralists was to defend, with nonderivative models, a strong notion of genic cause, it is fatal that Waters has failed to meet that challenge. Waters agrees with me that there is only a single cause operating in these models, but he argues for a notion of causal 'parsing' to sustai...
Article
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I argue that four of the fundamental claims of those calling themselves 'genic pluralists'-Philip Kitcher, Kim Sterelny, and Ken Waters-are defective. First, they claim that once genic selectionism is recognized, the units of selection problems will be dissolved. Second, Sterelny and Kitcher claim that there are no targets of selection (interactors...
Article
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What an irony it is, that the supposed attempt to bring homo sapiens down a few notches in the natural order has taken the form of us humans hectoring another species into emulating our instinctive form of communication, or some artificial form we have invented, as if that were the measure of biological worth. The chimpanzee’s resistance is no sham...
Chapter
Current scientific attempts to characterize human nature have roots in a philosophic view of kinds that is inapplicable to any species in the wake of Darwin's work on evolution by natural selection. Keywords: evolution; philosophy; evolutionary psychology; behavioural ethology; human nature
Chapter
IntroductionWhat we knowHypothesesProspects for researchConclusion ReferencesQuestions and discussion
Article
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Given the recent explosion of interest in applications of evolutionary biology to understanding human psychology, we think it timely to assure better under- standing of modern evolutionary theory among the psychologists who might be using it. We find it neces- sary to do so because of the very reduced version of evolutionary theorizing that has bee...
Article
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David Hull's analysis of conceptual change in science, as presentedin his book, Science as a Process (1988), provides a useful framework for understanding one of the scientific controversies in which he actively and constructively intervened, the units of selectiondebates in evolutionary biology. What follows is a brief overview ofthose debates and...
Article
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Two major clarifications have greatly abetted the understanding and fruitful expansion of the theory of natural selection in recent years: the acknowledgment that interactors, not replicators, constitute the causal unit of selection; and the recognition that interactors are Darwinian individuals, and that such individuals exist with potency at seve...
Article
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I discuss two types of evidential problems with the most widely touted experiments in evolutionary psychology, those performed by Leda Cosmides and interpreted by Cosmides and John Tooby. First, and despite Cosmides and Tooby's claims to the contrary, these experiments don't fulfil the standards of evidence of evolutionary biology. Second Cosmides...
Article
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I suggest following Paul Feyerabend's own advice, and interpreting Feyerabend's work in light of the principles laid out by John Stuart Mill. A review of Mill's essay, On Liberty, emphasizes the importance Mill placed on open and critical discussion for the vitality and progress of various aspects of human life, including the pursuit of scientific...
Article
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Rejetant les objections anti-philosophiques, anti-rationnelles et anti-scientifiques opposees a P. Feyerabend, l'A. montre que la cle pour la comprehension de l'oeuvre du penseur provocateur et anarchiste reside dans sa critique de la methode scientifique et dans sa defense du pragmatisme realiste developpe par Peirce
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As political activist Ti-Grace Atkinson wrote in 1970: “whenever the enemy keeps lobbing bombs into some area you consider unrelated to your defense, it’s always worth investigating.”1
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The emphasis on the limitations of objectivity, in specific guises and networks, has been a continuing theme of contemporary analytic philosophy for the past few decades. The popular sport of baiting feminist philosophers — into pointing to what's left out of objective knowledge, or into describing what methods, exactly, they would offer to replace...
Article
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Most analyses of species selection require emergent, as opposed to aggregate, characters at the species level. This "emergent character" approach tends to focus on the search for adaptations at the species level. Such an approach seems to banish the most potent evolutionary property of populations--variability itself--from arguments about species s...
Article
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My contribution to this Symposium focuses on the links between sexuality and reproduction from the evolutionary point of view. 1 The relation between women's sexuality and reproduction is particularly important because of a vital intersection between politics and biology feminists have noticed, for more than a century, that women's identity is ofte...
Article
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The conflation of two fundamentally distinct issues has generated serious confusion in the philosophical and biological literature concerning the units of selection. The question of how a unit of selection of defined, theoretically, is rarely distinguished from the question of how to determine the empirical accuracy of claims--either specific or ge...
Article
The semantic view of theory structure, as developed by Suppes (1957,1967), Suppe (1974, 1976, 1977, 1988), and van Fraassen (1970, 1972, 1980), represents theories as classes of models or structures. These models are, on the version of the semantic approach used here, defined by specifying their laws, parameters, and variables. The semantic approac...
Article
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In this paper I distinguish various ways in which empirical claims about evolutionary and ecological models can be supported by data. I describe three basic factors bearing on confirmation of empirical claims: fit of the model to data; independent testing of various aspects of the model, and variety of evident. A brief description of the kinds of c...
Article
I address the controversy in evolutionary biology concerning which levels of biological entity (units) can and do undergo natural selection. I refine a definition of the unit of selection, first presented by William Wimsatt, that is grounded in the structure of natural selection models. I examine Elliott Sober's objection to this structural definit...
Article
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A precise formulation of the structure of modern evolutionary theory has proved elusive. In this paper, I introduce and develop a formal approach to the structure of population genetics, evolutionary theory's most developed sub-theory. Under the semantic approach, used as a framework in this paper, presenting a theory consists in presenting a relat...
Article
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When natural selection theory was presented, much active philosophical debate, in which Darwin himself participated, centered on its hypothetical nature, its explanatory power, and Darwin's methodology. Upon first examination, Darwin's support of his theory seems to consist of a set of claims pertaining to various aspects of explanatory success. I...

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Projects (2)
Project
For the past two years, we have been working on a project involving feminist philosophy and the work of Helen Longino on empirical knowledge and values. Our current paper focuses on the prospects for empirically testing sexist and androcentric values in science. Together, we are drafting a manuscript entitled “Is Helen Longino even an Empiricist? Understanding Contextual Empiricism within Feminist Empiricism.”